Saturday Single No. 190

By the time mid- June rolled around in 1965, I was enrolled in summer school, taking – if my memory is accurate – enrichment courses in Spanish and typing. The classes took place in a school new to me: South Junior High. So every morning, I’d get on the bus – most likely connecting with my pal Jeff, who like me had just finished sixth grade at Lincoln Elementary – and head across the Mississippi River and past the college, deep into the south side.

It was about a two-mile trek, and it felt longer, as we were heading into foreign territory, an area of the city we didn’t know at all well. That made us a little nervous, of course, but we would be starting seventh grade at South in the autumn, so summer school across town was only one of the myriad new experiences ahead of us in a very short time.

Being incoming seventh-graders, we were among the youngest kids on the bus that summer – as we would be come September – and we were a little intimidated by the high school kids. One of those older kids usually had a radio, so the soundtrack for the rides to and from school was Top 40. Looking back, not much of what I heard was familiar at the time. Here’s the Billboard Top Ten for the week ending forty-five years ago today, June 19, 1965:

“I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops
“Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds
“Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
“Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis Presley
“Back In My Arms Again” by the Supremes
“Wonderful World” by Herman’s Hermits
“Help Me, Rhonda” by the Beach Boys
“Engine Engine #9” by Roger Miller
“For Your Love” by the Yardbirds
“Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” by Patti Page

That’s a pretty good Top Ten with a couple of interesting things in it: The Herman’s Hermits record was a cover of the Sam Cooke song (“Don’t know much about history . . .”). Roger Miller’s record was a country-ish love song. And “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” was a lush treatment of the theme from a movie, a romantic song with a few subtle hints that the movie was, well, not your standard love story.

As I looked this morning at the Hot 100 from that week forty-five years ago, I thought about a game of Jump, looking for the record in the Top 40 that had moved the most in the chart from the previous week. It turns out that there was a clear winner: Jumping forty-one places from No. 67 the week to No. 26 was a little ditty titled “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones. As there seems to be no point in posting a video of one of the world’s best-known records, I thought I’d see if the runner-up was interesting. It was, and we’ll get there in a bit.

Two records shifted six places from the Hot 100 the week before: “Nothing Can Stop Me” by Gene Chandler went from No. 24 to No. 18, and Donovan’s “Catch the Wind” rose from No. 31 to No. 25.

Moving seven places were three records that I do not recall at all: “Voodoo Woman” by Bobby Goldsboro rose from No. 37 to No. 30; “Give Us Your Blessings” by the Shangri-Las went from No. 42 to No. 35; and “Oo Wee Baby I Love You” by Fred Hughes rose from No. 45 into the Top 40 at No. 38.

Chad and Jeremy’s “Before and After” rose eight spots, from No. 25 to No. 17, while the Animals’ “Bring It On Home To Me” dropped eight spots from No. 32 to No. 40. “Concrete and Clay” by the Unit Four Plus Two fell nine places, from No. 28 to No. 37, and Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” jumped from No. 46 to No. 36.

Ten records moved more than ten places in that week ending June 19, 1965, and some of those shifts were large. The leap by “Satisfaction” was the largest, but it wasn’t the only impressive performance.

Dropping twelve spots from No. 21 to No. 33 was “Just Once In My Life” by the Righteous Brothers, and moving up thirteen places was the very middle-of-the-road instrumental “A Walk In The Black Forest” by Horst Jankowski, His Orchestra and Chorus.

Barbara Mason’s “Yes, I’m Ready” rose seventeen slots, from No. 40 to No. 23, while “Laurie (Strange Things Happen),” a ghost story song by Dickey Lee, moved up eighteen places, from No. 47 to No. 29. And taking a leap of nineteen spots up was “What The World Needs Now” by Jackie DeShannon.

“Cara, Mia” from Jay and the Americans made an impressive leap from No. 54 to No. 28, but three records – including “Satisfaction” – did better. “Seventh Son” by Johnny Rivers vaulted from No. 43 to No. 15, and then a tune I do not remember ever hearing until this morning had the week’s second-largest jump forty-five years ago, moving from No. 51 to No. 21.

The record, which peaked at No. 8, was the only Top 40 hit for English singer-songwriter Ian Whitcomb, who was backed on the disc by a group called Bluesville. So here, courtesy of “J.D.’s Lost 45’s,” is the rather odd “You Turn Me On (Turn On Song)” [Tower 134], today’s Saturday Single:

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3 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 190”

  1. Lisa says:

    My daughter turned me onto a song called “Mansard Roof” by the immensely popular current indie band Vampire Weekend. If you can find it online, listen and tell me it wasn’t completely inspired by/derived from “Concrete and Clay” by Unit 4+2.

  2. whiteray says:

    You’re right, Lisa. Too, too similar, right to the hook on “the ground beneath my feet.” Here’s a YouTube link. for those who follow:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3PW9r7tIVA

  3. porky says:

    once upon a time I read that The “Turn-On Song” was just a goof (no….!!); the band did a run-through and thought they weren’t being recorded because someone knocked over an ash-tray. You can hear it hit the ground if you listen closely (right before Ian starts “singing.”). Obviously the tape WAS running…

    btw Ian is a top-notch musicologist with some good books to his credit.

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